– El Mac –
Born in Los Angeles in 1980 to an engineer and an artist, Mac has been creating and studying art independently since childhood. He was inspired at a young age by classic European painters such as Caravaggio, and Vermeer and Art Nouveau symbolists such as Klimt and Mucha.
This was mixed with the more contemporary influences of graffiti and photo-realism, as well as as the Chicano and Mexican culture he grew up around.
He began painting with acrylics and painting graffiti in the mid ’90s, when his primary focus became the life-like rendering of human faces and figures. He has since worked consistently toward developing his unique rendering style, which utilizes repeating contour lines reminiscent of ripples. Turing patterns and indigenous North American art. In 1999 he began to paint portraits of his friends and anonymous Mexican Laborers in public spaces throughout the American southwest, both legally and illegally. He also started painting large technicolor aerosol interpretations of classic paintings by old European masters.
This led to being commissioned in 2003 by the Groeninge Museum in Brugge, Belgium to paint his interpretations of classic Flemish Primitive paintings in the museum’s collection.
– Retna –
Retna also known as Marquis Lewis was born in 1979 in Los Angeles, CA. Since making his debut in the mid-1990s, RETNA has participated in over 30 international exhibitions with countless works in the public realm. Yielding an unmistakable aesthetic that integrates appropriated contemporary photography, graffiti, traditional painting and a unique glyphic style, he has emerged as one of the most prolific street artists in the contemporary art world.
An integral fixture in the Los Angeles art scene since an early age, the transcendent nature of RETNA’s work has allowed him to seamlessly transverse from the unregulated urban landscape to institution galleries across the globe. Merging couture with street culture, the spiritual with the sensual, and fluidity with grit, his paintings provide an exceptional lense through which we view contemporary culture.